Bits of Torah Truths, Parashat Bereshit, Is Yeshua (Jesus) God?


This weeks reading is for Parashat Bereshit (Bereshit / Genesis 1:1-6:8), we learn about the creation of the world, the creation of man and woman, and the fall of man into sin through disobedience to the command of the Lord.  Studying Bereshit / Genesis 2 we read that the Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him making him a living soul according to the Torah in Bereshit / Genesis 2:7 וַיִּיצֶר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה: 2:7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (NASB)  The Scriptures continue saying that God caused Adam to fall asleep and took from one of his ribs and He formed woman.  As a result, God declares that the man will leave his father and his mother and join with the woman (as husband and wife) and they will become one flesh (Bereshit / Genesis 2:24, כד  עַל-כֵּן יַעֲזָב-אִישׁ אֶת-אָבִיו וְאֶת-אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָֹר אֶחָד:).  The Aramaic Targum (Targum Pseudo Jonathan) states כד  בגין כן ישבוק גבר ומתפרש מן ביהת מדמכיה דאבוהי ודאימיה ויתחבר באינתתיה ויהון תרוויהון לבישרא חד “Therefore a man shall leave, and be separate from the house of the bed of his father and of his mother, and shall consociate (unite) with his wife, and both of them shall be one flesh.”  While reading the Masoretic text, in Bereshit / Genesis 2:24, there is a circulus indicating a note in the marginal Masorah.  The marginal Masorah states that in the Pentateuch, Brescia 1492, the Targum Jonathan, the Targum ע’ זקנים, and Targum Sory, there is a variant reading where the word שניהם (sheneyhem) “the two of them” is found in these manuscripts and it is missing from Ginsburg’s Masoretic text.  This reading along with the marginal note states that the two will become one (Echad, אֶחָד) “how do two people come together to become one (Echad, אֶחָד) according to the Torah?”

כתבי הקודש / The Holy Scriptures

ספר בראשית פרק ב
כג   וַיֹּאמֶר הָאָדָם זֹאת הַפַּעַם עֶצֶם מֵעֲצָמַי וּבָשָֹר מִבְּשָֹרִי לְזֹאת יִקָּרֵא אִשָּׁה כִּי מֵאִישׁ לֻקֳחָה-זֹּאת: כד   עַל-כֵּן יַעֲזָב-אִישׁ אֶת-אָבִיו וְאֶת-אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָֹר אֶחָד: כה   וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא יִתְבּשָׁשׁוּ:

Bereshit / Genesis 2:23-25
2:23 The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (NASB)

The word “echad” here does not suggest that they become one person but that there appears to be a composite unity of two who are in a covenant relationship.  Being echad suggests that the two are in agreement with one another not only in living together, but in spiritual matters as well.  Notice how when Chavah (Eve) was deceived in the garden, they both agreed physically to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and to spiritually walk in disobedience to the command of God.  Therefore the understanding of echad as a composite unity arises from the context of the verse in Bereshit / Genesis 2-3.  Thinking on the word echad, what do we do with Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:4 which states ד   שְׁמַע יִשְֹרָאֵל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָֹה | אֶחָד: 6:4 ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! (NASB)?  Using this verse, some people have questioned the diety of Yeshua and quote the Shema as a proof text to say Yeshua is not God.  When reading through the context of Deuteronomy, the context is not so much addressing the nature of God as it does to say that there is no other god other than the God of Israel, and that echad is understood in the singular sense.  Yeshua’s discussion with the scribes in Mark 12 agree that the Lord is one quoting from the Shema (see Mark 12:28-32).  According to Moshe in Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:35, God is revealing Himself to Israel, that there is no other god competing with the God of Israel, He is the only one in the universe.  It is because of the sovereignty and covenant love of God that we are likewise to love and obey him.  Reading Devarim / Deuteronomy 4-6, does the Shema deny the diety of Yeshua?  Just like our text in Genesis with regard to a husband and wife, the word echad directs us to the position of the Lord being one as opposed to those (other gods) who are outside of Him.  The question then is Yeshua positionally outside of our Father in Heaven?  If we are to believe the gospel accounts of who Yeshua is, the living Word of God (John 1:1-14) who tabernacled among us and the word that proceeds from the Father (John 8:42), Yeshua is positionally echad (one) with our Father in Heaven.  According to Parashat Vayera in Bereshit / Genesis 18, the Lord is described as standing before Abraham on his way to investigate the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The Masoretic text suggests that YHVH stood before Abraham and identifies his general form as that of a man (see Bereshit / Genesis 18:2, 18:13, and 18:22).  The angel, messenger, or man described in Parashat Vayera was the Lord God Almighty, though He walked on earth He remained echad with our Father in heaven.  In addition to this, there are titles and attributes to describe Yeshua that were reserved for God alone .  From the prophetic literature, Isaiah 9:6-7, a messianic text, and described of such even in the rabbinic literature, gives the title to a child who will be born as wonderful counselor, mighty God, eternal Father, and Prince of peace.  In addition to this, Yeshua describes himself as “the first and the last” (Revelation 2:8), He says to the people “before Abraham was I am” (John 8:58), he also says “my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35), and that he is the “forgiver of sins” (Luke 5:21-22), Paul says he is our “redeemer” (Titus 2:13-14), and John says he is the “Lord of Glory” (John 17:5).  According to the Scriptures, Yeshua is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature (Hebrews 1:3) who holds all things together in Himself (Collossians 1-3).  As you know our own words are “echad” in complete agreement with us, and in the same way the Word of God is echad with the Lord God Almighty.  This is how Yeshua is Lord of all and echad with our Father in Heaven! BTT_Parashat Bereshit-2013